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Not One of the Boys: Living Life as a…

Not One of the Boys: Living Life as a Feminist

by Brenda Feigen

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679408428, Hardcover)

Reading Not One of the Boys, you get the feeling that Brenda Feigen really has seen and done it all. Having made it through Harvard Law School at a time when some professors confined taking questions (and answers) from female students to a once-a-semester Ladies Day, she went on to be a cofounder, with Gloria Steinem, of the National Women's Political Caucus and Ms, to work with Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, to run for political office in New York, and to make movies in Hollywood.

This is also a deeply personal memoir. Feigen's account of her relationship with Steinem brings out the complexity of a friendship between two women who have spent their lives fighting--for recognition, equality, and justice (indeed, one of the strengths of the book is the way in which Feigen brings out the differences--and strains--within "feminist" ranks). Her marriage to a marvelously enlightened man gave way to a loving partnership with another woman. She battled breast cancer. She got fired. Feigen's prose bristles with awareness of the sexist injuries perpetrated on a daily basis against women. Hers has been a life of not putting up with them. As a result, it sometimes seems as though she has sued her way through the last four decades.

It is also clear that the fight for women's equality--fought tooth and nail by Feigen and her ilk--is far from over. Women are still routinely paid less than men, subject to assaults of all types, and denied equitable treatment. For the many young women who take the feminist gains of the last 35 years for granted, and do not identify themselves as feminists, Not One of the Boys should be compulsory reading. --J. Riches

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:23 -0400)

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